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Publications of the Week

T Reg-Specific Insulin Receptor Deletion Prevents Diet-Induced and Age-Associated Metabolic Syndrome

By June 11, 2020No Comments

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This week we profile a recent publication in the Journal of Experimental Medicine
from the laboratory of Dr. Megan Levings (pictured, second from right) at UBC.

Can you provide a brief overview of your lab’s current research focus?

The Levings’ lab works on understanding the biology of regulatory T cells so that they can be developed as a therapy for conditions such as transplant rejection, autoimmunity, and other inflammatory diseases.

What is the significance of the findings in this publication?

We found that the ability of regulatory T cells to regulate inflammation in fat is controlled by the insulin receptor. The concept that a hormone such as insulin could control immune regulation is an entirely new concept.

What are the next steps for this research?

We are developing ways to genetically engineer regulatory T cells so we can selectively enhance or reduce pathways such as insulin signalling and thus tailor the activity of these cells.

This work was funded by:

This work was funded several years ago by the Canadian Diabetes Association and we kept working on the project with funding from the CIHR.

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